Poll: Majority support removing of interrogation work from police

A majority of people agree with an idea to remove the interrogation work from police to ensure independent and fair criminal procedures, according to the result of an opinion survey by the National Insitute of Development Administration, or Nida Poll.

The poll was carried out on July 24-29 on 2,003 people aged 18 and over of various levels of education and occupations throughout the country to compile their opinions on how to reform the police force to satisfy the people.

Asked to comment on an idea for the interrogation work to be taken away from police to ensure independent and fair procedures of criminal cases, a majority of the respondents, 69.75%, agreed, reasoning that this would help prevent the police from misusing their power and enable the justice process to be more transparent; 24.31% disagreed, saying that the police are already well-versed in this field of work; 0.55% said any agency can handle the interrogation work as long as fairness is assured; and, 5.39% were uncertain or had no comment.

On a suggestion that prosecutors should handle the interrogation work for cases which carry a penalty of over five years in jail or cases which come from public complaints, 79.83% agreed, saying it is a way to prevent corruption and create a balance with the police power; 12.83% disagreed, reasoning that the prosecutors already have a heavy workload and their transparency and neutrality is uncertain; 0.35% said this should be considered on a case-by-case basis; and, 6.99% were uncertain or had no comment.

On a suggestion that prosecution's consent be sought before seeking court approval for an arrest warrant, 61.61% agreed, saying that this could prevent cases of wrongful arrests or scapegoats; 29.15% disagreed, saying this could delay criminal proceedings because in some cases a speedy approval of an arrest warrant is needed; 0.65% said this should be considered on a case-by-case basis; and, 7.59% were uncertain or had no comment.

Asked whether the interrogation of suspects should be recorded with audio and visual equipment to be examined by the prosecution and the court as necessary, 90.31% agreed, saying this could do away with complaints about mistreatment; 6.84% disagreed, saying it would a violation of individual's rights; 0.80% said this should be considered on a case-by-case basis; and 2.05% were uncertain or had no comment.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)